The Luzumiyat of Abu’l-Ala, CX

translated from the Arabic by Ameen Rihani

The way of vice is open as the sky,
The way of virtue’s like the needle’s eye;
       But whether here or there, the eager Soul
Has only two Companions—Whence and Why.


The Luzumiyat of Abu’l-Ala (James T. White & Co., 1920) by Abū al-‘Alā’ al-Ma‘arrī. Translated from the Arabic by Ameen Rihani. Copyright © 1920 by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.